Not So Common Back to School Prep

Can you believe that the summer is half over and it is time to think back to school? Where I am in the Northeast, school starts in September, but the prep starts now. This will be Tyler's first year of full day school. I have so many feelings about it. I'm excited and nervous and anxious and sad and happy and proud. 

How am I utilizing all of that emotional energy? I'm getting organized!

Three of the not so common ways we are preparing for the school year with morning routines, labels, and dollar store finds.

Some of the obvious prep is school clothes, a book bag, a lunch box, folders, a pencil box, etc.. But I think those are pretty common and not forgotten items.  Instead, I want to talk about what may be less common things we are doing to prepare for school. 

back to school supplies

Adjusting Our Schedule in Advance

Last year T's school day started at 9am. The whole family left at 8:30 and went our separate ways: me to work and the rest to bring T to school.  This year T has school at 8:30. The new plan is my husband and the baby will stay home in the morning. I will bring T to school and then head to work and then Steve and baby Hailey will pick up T in the afternoon. 

This means being out of the house about 20 minutes earlier than we've ever had to in the past. In order to prep, we are starting to work on getting T and I ready by 8:10 in the morning. He is little and therefore he is generally up early anyway. The difference is making sure that he is dressed and fed by that time each day and the same for me. Then we just hang out or play with Hailey the last 20 minutes before I leave. 

In this way when we actually start school we will already be used to being dressed and ready to go by 8:10 and it won't feel suddenly rushed. 

Label Everything

At 4, my child is not used to being responsible for his own things. Some kids develop that, others don't. Knowing this, the need to label pretty much all of Tyler's things is high. So I ordered some name labels from Mabel's Labels.  I picked these because first off, they are super cute and secondly, they are dishwasher safe, laundry safe, microwave safe, and waterproof. This means I can use them on pretty much everything.

Tyler is super excited to start using these stickers which I told him are special for school. As we obtain items for the school year, we get to use his "school stickers" to label them. This is the perfect way to get a kid who loves stickers excited for school!

So far we only have the name labels. But I also plan on picking up the shoe labels which not only label who's shoes it is, but also helps kids determine which shoe goes on which foot. The set has pairs of stickers for each set of shoes which together form a single picture. You just place one label in each shoe and you child can see which order of shoes forms the picture and therefore which shoe to put on each foot. You can check out an example below!

Unexpected Dollar Store Items for Back to School

Dollar stores are great for back to school items. Places like Dollar Tree have deals on crayons, notebooks, pencil cases, pens, glue, and all the other basic back to school supplies. But they also have deals on other items that you might not typically think of for back to school.  

You can pick up a wall calendar and some stickers to hang up in your child's room. Even if they can't read and write yet, you can help them use stickers to label when various events are so they can learning planning and a sense of time. 


You can pick up plastic cups, ribbon, glue, and stickers and create a desk top supplies holder for their homework area. Pick up some clipboards and hang them on the wall for an inexpensive way to display your child's artwork and schoolwork. Get a new frame and decorate it with crayons or colored pencils for their first day of school picture. 

A lot of these are fun ways to help your kids get excited about the upcoming school year as well.  

Are you starting back to school prep yet? If so, what are you doing to prepare for school. Let us know in the comments!



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